High Expectations

Academically successful schools typically communicate to their students high expectations for academic performance and for their continued success in work and life. New Jersey schools must cultivate and sustain cultures of high expectations for ALL students. Such cultures include curricula and instructional practices that are aligned to the NJ Student Learning Standards (NJSLS); demonstrated educator commitment to the standards’ value and efficacy; course offerings and experiential learning opportunities that promote college and workforce readiness; and communicating to families the purpose and importance of high-quality academic standards.

To encourage these cultures, WRNJ advocates for:

  • Respectful, collaborative dialogue among all education stakeholders – students, educators, families, higher education and business leaders, state officials, and community members – that encourages diverse viewpoints discussing a shared commitment to preparing all students to live, learn, and earn as active citizens.
  • Programs that educate families on the importance of academic standards, respond to their questions and concerns, and encourage them to reinforce a culture of high expectations;
  • Course offerings and programs that aim to increase post-secondary credential attainment, including 2 and 4-year degrees and vocational certificates, and that offer students a variety of pathways to gainful employment while avoiding historical biases that can place certain groups of students on certain pathways without offering them full exposure to their options;
  • Collaborations between state officials, district, and school leaders with employers to identify labor market needs and evaluate academic programs in light of those needs; and
  • Periodic review of state standards, program offerings, and high school graduation requirements to ensure that they remain forward-thinking and adaptive to emerging workforce trends to promote true college and career-readiness.


Resources for Students

Resources for Educators

Resources for Parents and Families

  • See our comparative analysis of states’ various assessment requirements for high school graduation.
  • See what Achieve outlines as the skills students need to graduate high school ready for success in college or career – without the need for remediation.
  • Check out these resources by subject and grade level from Learning Heroes, featuring ways to help at home, practice tests, and other tips for supporting student learning.
  • The New Jersey Student Learning Standards page links to all the standards along with several resources to help parents understand the academic benchmarks and help students reach them.

Hear why Highlands Elementary Principal Rosemary Schutz sees a focus on the whole child as key to setting the right expectations: